If you didn’t see any coverage from Paris-Nice last week then I thoroughly recommend searching some out on the internet (there are video highlights on our website). It was a cracking race from start to finish with action every day.
Best of all was Bradley Wiggins’s third place, his best result since his fourth place in the 2009 Tour de France. After that Tour the Brit said he wouldn’t be one of those Tour contenders who you didn’t see until July.
Then in 2010 he did exactly that. Last year every pedal stroke was geared towards July to the extent he was backing off in races so as not to bring his form on too soon.
How anyone thought it was a good idea to back off in a race is beyond me. You get so much more from racing than just form. Riding at the front of a major race brings experience and confidence in bucket-loads and confirms to the rest of the bunch that you deserve to be there. Then, when it comes to July, you’re let in to the gaps rather than squeezed out. Peloton politics is an amazing thing.
Team Sky realised this at the end of last year and to their credit have turned things round incredibly quickly: From third place at the Tour Down Under to first at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and second at Het Nieuwsblad, they’re performing on all fronts and are now ranked second team in world.
This also has a knock-on affect for Cav’s chances in the Olympic road race next year as this year’s results qualifies team GB its rider allocations.
More of the same please, Bradley!
Simon Richardson is deputy editor of Cycling Weekly